Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
63,856
31,393


The European Union has reached a landmark agreement to force a wide range of consumer electronics, including the iPhone and AirPods, to feature a USB-C port for charging by fall 2024.

USB-C-Over-Lightning-Feature.jpg

In a press release, the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection announced that it has reached an agreement to introduce a law to make USB-C the common charging port across a large number of consumer electronics by fall 2024.

The proposal, known as a directive, will force all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell devices in Europe to ensure that all new phones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers feature a USB-C port, regardless of the manufacturer. Exemptions will only apply for devices that are too small to offer a USB-C port, such as smart watches, health trackers, and some sports equipment, but the legislation will be expanded to other devices like laptops over time.

This "common port" would be a world first and impact Apple in particular since it widely uses the Lightning connector instead of USB-C on many of its devices. MEPs claim that the move will reduce electronic waste, address product sustainability, and make use of different devices more convenient.


The EU is also looking to ensure that wireless charging solutions are interoperable as the technology evolves over time. The new directive proposes to empower the European Commission to develop delegated acts that force companies to make their custom wireless charging solutions more open and meet interoperability standards, helping consumers to avoid getting locked into proprietary charging solutions while preventing fragmentation and reducing waste. It is not clear if this would include Apple's MagSafe charging system for the iPhone and AirPods since it is based on the Qi wireless charging standard.

In 2018, the European Commission tried to reach a final resolution on the issue but it failed to come into law. At the time, Apple warned that forcing a common charging port on the industry would stifle innovation and create electronic waste as consumers were forced to switch to new cables. The EU's effort resumed last year, with the European Commission spearheading a refreshed version of the directive. In April, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted to support the directive, with 43 votes in favor and just two against.

The legislation still needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and European Council later this year. It will enter come into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal and its provisions will start to apply to new devices after 24 months.

Both Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman have said that Apple is testing a version of the iPhone that has a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. Kuo believes that Apple could switch the iPhone to USB-C starting with 2023's iPhone 15, before transitioning AirPods and other accessories at a later date. This timeframe would allow Apple to switch its affected devices to USB-C ahead of the EU directive coming into force.

Article Link: EU Reaches Agreement to Force iPhone and AirPods to Adopt USB-C by Fall 2024
 

falkon-engine

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2010
1,234
2,952
I don’t agree with the EU on all things but usb-c on rechargable devices like phones is a win for consumers. I use the same tb4 or usb4 cables to charge all my devices except for iPhone. And these cables also support pcie, displayport, and Ethernet tunelling as well.

One cable, one charger, multiple devices. I will be glad when the iPhone finally brings usb-c support too. Lightning was a good run. But it’s time to move on.
 

falkon-engine

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2010
1,234
2,952
I know that the Lightning port supposedly has some advantages over USB-C, but I'm all for not needing to have lightning, mini USB, micro USB and circular power cables everywhere. Still weird that the EU is able to mandate this.
What are the advantages ? From a data transfer point of view on iPhone lightning is stuck at slow usb2.0 speeds.
 

Lancer

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,217
147
Australia
I don’t agree with the EU on all things but usb-c on rechargable devices like phones is a win for consumers. I use the same tb4 or usb4 cables to charge all my devices except for iPhone. And these cables also support pcie, displayport, and Ethernet tunelling as well.

One cable, one charger, multiple devices. I will be glad when the iPhone finally brings usb-c support too. Lightning was a good run. But it’s time to move on.
I was lucky, went on an extended road trip and who forgot to pack the iPad Pro charger? Lucky my M1 MacBook Pro 13 has USB-C and its charger works, probably quicker also. And using a USB-C to Lightning I can charge my iPhone 11 and probably AirPods off the one power brick.
 

falkon-engine

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2010
1,234
2,952
Probably explains why even though the new MacBook Pro and Air which have the MagSafe power can also be charged using USB-C?
The MacBook Air has thunderbolt ports which support charging at up to 100W. So long as a laptop comes with a thunderbolt port, it will have the ability to charge via that port. So long as the manufacturer enables the proper connections to the battery.
 

leeuk321

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2018
167
141
Probably explains why even though the new MacBook Pro and Air which have the MagSafe power can also be charged using USB-C?
Could be, but I personally think it's more for convenience, for people wanting to travel with a single UBS-C lead, or maybe they've already invested in a long USB-C cable that works for them, or charging it with their Anker USB-C power adapter, etc. I think that Apple would almost have to go out of their way to remove the charging facility, so why bother.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Concorde105

falkon-engine

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2010
1,234
2,952
I was lucky, went on an extended road trip and who forgot to pack the iPad Pro charger? Lucky my M1 MacBook Pro 13 has USB-C and its charger works, probably quicker also. And using a USB-C to Lightning I can charge my iPhone 11 and probably AirPods off the one power brick.
Usb-c is a good thing and if those devices has a usb-c port instead of lightning, you’d have been able to charge them with the same cable instead of needing a usb- to lightning. We’re moving in the right direction.
 

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,748
1,598
What are the advantages ? From a data transfer point of view on iPhone lightning is stuck at slow usb2.0 speeds.
So? What is the use case that the typical iPhone user uses the port to transfer large amounts of data on a regular basis? Personally I've transferred some photos off my iPhone to my desktop, but that might be a once a month event and it isn't done in a time pressured situation. All my app updates are done over wifi, which is (A) fast and (B) is something my iPhone is connected to when at home or the office. So where is the data transfer speed limitation?

One of the advantages to lightning is that it is a slightly smaller port. Also, in the US, lightning charger cables are more common than USB-C charging cables. But that should and is changing. USB-C is a fine connector. Of course the lighting was superior to those finicky USB-A mini and micro connectors and to the 30-pin connector, so I'm glad Apple came out with it nearly 10 years ago.
 

Xenden

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2013
265
387
Rio Rancho, NM
So, does that mean that companies would need to get permission to go to the next standard? Tech companies need to be allowed to do what they want when it comes to silly things like connectors. Why not force every company who makes laptops have to provide HDMI, USB-C, Display port,etc. Just because theEU thinks it’s a good idea, doesn’t mean they should be able to force it.

Btw, I’d be happy if they either improved lighting or put in usb-c/thunderbolt 4. I’m just not for governments forcing it.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.